A Brazil visa is mandatory for U.S. citizens who plan to visit Brazil for any purpose, whether for tourism or business, work or study. Recently, new requirements have been established by the Brazilian government. Applicants need to be aware of these requirements and plan accordingly in order to avoid complications with travel plans.
The first new requirement is that applicants must complete the Brazil visa application form electronically. The form can no longer be downloaded, printed and completed in ink. Completing the electronic visa application is quite easy. The form is hosted by the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. When applicants first attempt to visit the site, a warning will appear stating that the site uses an unknown certificate. You first need to allow your browser to access the website.
Brazil's visa application is divided into four sections: General Data, Documents, Occupation and Addresses. In the General Data section, requested information includes full name, sex, marital status, date and place of birth, nationality and parents' full names. The Occupation section asks for your profession and employer as well as work address and email. If you are a student, you must include the name of your school. In the Document section, you enter in information about your passport. Finally, the Addresses section provides places for permanent residence, current address and contact in Brazil.
After completing and submitting the form, you can print the completed application. You will also be provided with a protocol number. With this number in hand, you have to make an appointment at the Brazilian embassy or consulate that has jurisdiction over the state where you reside. This is the second new requirement.
Brazil's consulate services no longer accept walk-in applications. They only attend by appointment. To make the appointment, you need to visit the appropriate consulate's online visa appointment system and create an user's account. You then log in using the protocol number and your password. Your appointment must be scheduled within 30 days of the date that you completed the Brazilian application form or you will have to complete another.
Take the completed and signed visa application, supporting documents and proof of payment to your scheduled appointment. The Brazilian consulate no longer accepts visa applications by mail. If you are unable to appear, you can authorize a third party to go in your place and represent you. If you do choose to use a third party, you need to provide them with a copy of your driver's license in addition to the other required documents.
Besides the new requirements listed above, you also need to consider that the high demand for visas to Brazil has caused the consulate services to increase processing times. It is important to understand that the time of year in which you are applying for a Brazil visa can affect the time it takes for your application to be processed. You should plan accordingly. If your trip is scheduled during peak travel season, expect it to take longer than it would during the off season.